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Watauga to turn landfill methane into electricity

Article Published: Dec. 15, 2011 | Modified: Dec. 16, 2011
Watauga to turn landfill methane into electricity

Representatives from the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Appalachian State University Energy Center, KSD Enterprises, McGee Environmental, N.C. State Energy Office, T3 Automation, Carlson Environmental Consultants and U.S. Buildings will gather for a ribbon cutting for the new Watauga County Landfill Gas to Energy Project at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.

The event will take place at the Watauga County Sanitation Department, located at 336 Landfill Road in Boone.

Watauga County’s landfill closed in 1994 and has been flaring the methane gas from the landfill since then. The county has been working with partners from the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation and the Appalachian State University Energy Center on a landfill gas project to make use of the energy created from the existing methane gas collection system.

This is a pilot project to produce electricity from a small closed landfill, according to county officials. There are many other similar closed landfills in North Carolina and across the country that will be able to utilize the design and experience from Watauga County’s project.

The county has installed two modified automotive engines with a combined generation capacity of 190 kilowatt at the landfill facility that will use methane gas from the landfill to produce electricity.

The county will use the electricity produced for all of the buildings at the sanitation department, and Duke Energy will purchase excess power from the landfill gas to energy project.

For more information, call Watauga County recycling coordinator Lisa Doty at (828) 265-4852.

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